Design began at the end of 1941 of a single-seat fighter using the new
VK-107 engine; however, delays with the new engine postponed the
prototype's first flight until late 1943. Entering operations in
1944, the Yak-3 was an exceptional dogfighter at altitudes up to
13,125 ft (4000 m).
The Yak-3 equipped the Free French 'Normandie-Niemen' unit identified
by their tricolor spinners. Over 4,800 were built.